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Scroll through Salvatore Friscia’s Instagram feed and you will feel a strong pang of envy. He lives in beautiful San Diego and loves to share pictures of the local area. But he’s not just a ...
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Why I decided to give my product away for free

Why I decided to give my product away for free

And I challenge REALTORS® everywhere to do the same.

By Heather Sittig

The tech world is a fascinating place. It’s a world where a paid subscriber who doesn’t use your app is considered significantly less valuable than the avid user who pays nothing. Because engagement is exciting to Silicon Valley.

It’s those kind of users we want at Relola. Agents who know they are local real estate experts, and want to amplify that expertise across their social channels and their digital properties.

Creating content is hard. And REALTORS® have a lot on their plate. Relola takes the effort out of creating content by leveraging the work agents already do: they drive buyers around their local market, and they describe all the community features that make it unique. They share the characteristics that create the flavor of a place.

And of course, they view listings every week. And it’s not just about square footage and bedroom counts. It’s about context. Context means you know that the neighborhood has the best trick or treating. Context means that you know what the commute times are to the major industry hubs. All that is expertise and all that is super valuable content.

And not just content -- absolutely hyper-local content. That’s what agents need most for their social media and their web sites.

Agents use Relola to put content where they need it: Facebook and their website

It’s no secret that we used to have a paid subscriber model. And that was working just fine for us. But what works even better is having a core base of highly engaged users who are enthusiastic about creating content with our app. From there, we have strategic partnerships and white label integrations for our revenue model.

When I stood onstage at the NAR REach Technology Accelerator and announced that Relola is now free for all REALTORS, I wasn’t sure how this decision would be received. We could have been laughed out of the room. We could have been shunned from the vendor world.

Instead, an audible gasp went out in the room, and then there was applause. Fellow vendors sought us out to discuss opportunities and embrace our vision. It was an exciting and exhilarating moment.

Agents should give away their expertise for free, too

That sounds strange, doesn’t it? Why should you give away your hard-earned expertise in the real estate business?

Simple. Because real estate is actually a relationship business, and good relationships are about value. Your intrinsic value is your expertise. It’s knowing that a new shopping mall is going in. It’s getting your eyes on all the new listings in your market. It’s being on a first name basis with local contractors.

And it’s about sharing all you know. For free.

So the challenge is clear: can you build the habit of creating content? And can you feel good about giving it away? Because showcasing your local expertise doesn’t happen simply by adding our app to your phone. It’s about muscle memory. When you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, you can put the new pizza place you just took your kids to on your map. Did you just show a buyer around a new listing? Drop a pin and add it to your map of expertise.

Share. Share. Share. Trust me: it feels really good and it's so good for your business.

The road ahead for Relola is wide and full of opportunity. And we are thrilled to bring that opportunity to mobile screens of REALTORS everywhere.

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